New Delhi: A Supreme Court lawyer has claimed he was approached by an unidentified person to frame the top judge on a similar charge. The claim comes two days after a woman court employee accused Chief Justice of India Mr Ranjan Gogoi of sexually harassing her.
The lawyer, Utsav Bains, alleged at a press conference in the Press Club of India here that he was approached not only to frame the CJI but also to represent the former Supreme Court staffer who has accused Gogoi. In exchange, he claimed, he was offered up to Rs 1.5 crore.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Bains alleged this was a conspiracy by some people who want the CJI to resign. He said he would file an affidavit narrating his experience in the apex court, and added that he would name those allegedly involved.
Bains had on Sunday made a startling admission in a Facebook post, where he said: “I was offered bribe to help frame CJI in the sexual harassment case by lawyering and organising a press conference against the CJI for the ex-SC staffer who has accused the CJI of sexual harassment just a few days back and also specifically asked to organise a press conference only at the Press Club of India.”
Bains posted this hours after news of the staffer’s allegations of sexual harassment came out.
He had added: “…(He) claimed to be her relative but on the other hand looked like a trained agent and he also couldn’t satisfactorily reply as to what was his relationship with the ex-SC staffer and then suddenly offered me 50 lacs as my legal fees if I agreed to lawyer and again he asked me specifically to organise a press conference at the PCI after I refused as I found the story facts fishy and also he couldn’t reply to any question about the many loopholes in the story he narrated. When I again refused he said 1.5 cr. I then asked him to leave my office.”
News reports suggested on Saturday that a 35-year-old woman, who worked as a junior court assistant in the Supreme Court, had written to 22 judges of the apex court Friday, alleging that the CJI had sexually harassed her at his residence last year.
CJI Gogoi on Saturday denied the sexual harassment charges levelled against him, suggesting that vested interests were threatening the independence of the judiciary.